By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said on Wednesday the statement made by the US Ambassador on the appointment of Shavendra Silva as Army Commander was an influence on the government to get the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) signed.
He told Parliament the same strategy was adopted by the Chinese Ambassador to pressure the government until it took over the Hambantota Port where he influenced the administration in most of its internal affairs.
“The Chinese Ambassador mediated in domestic matters and influenced the government to hand over the Hambantota Port. The US envoy must have studied this strategy and is now following it. The US is influencing us on domestic affairs until it gets SOFA and ACSA signed where the US army can use our lands and ports. I condemn the statement made by the US Ambassador on the appointment of the Army Commander. President Maithripala Sirisena has exclusive powers to appoint the Army chief.
“The US envoy has come here to advise us on the appointment of the Army Commander. She may have forgotten that we are not a colony of the US. We are an independent and sovereign nation. We are equal before any other country. We are not second to anyone just because they have more wealth or economic and war powers. Those are immaterial to us. There have been respectable ambassadors to the US in Sri Lanka such as Robert O Blake who was in office during the crucial time of the war.
The US envoy has come here to advise us on the appointment of the Army Commander. She may have forgotten that we are not a colony of the US